"At their first recording attempt the Fango group members propose a very multi-coloured and rich style work: swing, latin jazz, new-age, fusion, funky, in a well chosen combination able to satisfy both the requirements of the experts and those of the simple music lovers [...] the musical influences in their music range from Pat Metheny to Mike Stern in a whirl of variations, to please all tastes." Paolo Cosseddu - La Nuova Provincia di Biella.
One of the most talentuous Indie artists coming from Italy,
Nicola Boschetti’s career as a guitarist and composer develops mainly in the Jazz/Fusion field, but, as it often happens, shows us a number of different influences, from Latin to R’n’B, all blended in his works in the wisest way possible.
Nicola’s first important project, “Fango”, is more than just a hidden Jazz/Fusion jewel: taking its main inspiration from all the multiple directions that Jazz had been taking at that time (1994), this album blends the typical Fusion patterns with a wise mixture of styles, often presented in amazingly sudden way, where a song’s mood may change even three times in a few seconds.
The most valuable tracks of the album, “Riflessioni” and
“Animazione”, take us by the hand and lead us into sophisticated atmospheres where Nicola’s guitar and Massimo Pavone’s keyboards dialogue in a web of typical fusion phrases, and this is where we can distinctively hear echoes of Bob James, Lee Ritenour, but with a different taste, some times mediterranean, some times definitely oriental.
Though both songs seem to follow the same direction, “Animazione” features a more complicated rhythm work that reminds us some of Liquid Tension Experiment’s last works, with a slightly latin feel here and there, also (and above all) thanks to the flute solo, played by a greatly inspired Claudio Allifranchini (one of the most talented and versatile Italian musicians nowadays). This song also shows us an unsuspected Steely Dan influence in the section guided by the keyboards, where suddenly we discover the true meaning of the word ”Fusion”.
The title track, “Fango”, a 100% Nicola Boschetti’s composion, leaves the listener astonished: the song changes mood continuously, starting as a ‘70s progressive rock opera in 7/8 (we can hear echoes of PFM and Yes above all) and suddenly turning into an amazing Latin Funk session led by keyboards (and again the whole sound reminds us Becker & Fagen’s “Aja”).
“Zone D’Ombra” is perhaps the track where Nicola and his fellow travellers dare to experiment: a very “cerebral” Fusion opera where different parts chase each other and do not allow the listener to figure out which direction the whole thing takes. The final impression is a vigorous crescendo leading to a central chorus guided by Allifranchini’s saxophone, and just when the excitement comes to its highest point, the songs ends almost abruptly, leaving the listener wanting for more.
In an extremely modern album like this, the guys have lots of fun on “J.C. Blues”, where they literally speak a more traditional Jazz/Blues language, stuffing it here and there with more sophisticated elements, another example of all the bandmates’s skills as pure instrumentalists.
While Massimo Pavone’s great jewel “Dedicato” draws a bit away from the main theme of the album, moving in a slightly more melodic and again mediterranean atmosphere, and Nicola takes control of the whole mood with a smart and elegant acoustic guitar (showing us also his skills and sensitivity, it’s a joy to hear distinctively his finger delicately slide on the guitar), “Dettagli” adds even more taste to the entire work, with its latin mood and its extreme melodic line, where guitar and saxophone blend into a unique sound. Moreover, this is the track where bass and percussions seem to have more space: the guys have learnt Weather Report’s lesson very well, and they amaze us taking that particular language called “Fusion” and using it in an extremely original way, where different sounds run after each other in a melodic path which leaves the listener moving.
Latin seems to be the main thread among these songs, above all thanks to “Aurora” and “Tema Obliquo”, where Nicola takes a melody, tosses it up in the air and creates a light and soft wind which wraps the listener up, like in the “swing” section of “Tema Obliquo”. Acoustic or electric, Nicola’s guitar is dangerously close to perfection in these two tracks.
Talking about Nicola’s skills as a composer, such a maturity is a very rare thing in such a young musician, above all if we consider which genre he’s chosen (or maybe which genre has chosen him!)
Before being a composer and an excellent instrumentalist, Nicola is surely a great listener: he combines a number of different non-jazz elements into a pure Jazz work, and he can do this with zest and feeling. Add the contribute of a team of skilled instrumentalist like Pavone, Allifranchini, Motto and Del Togno, and you have a small masterpiece, which confirms our impression of an Italian Jazz Movement literally alive and kicking, in spite of the impressively poor exposure this genre enjoys nowadays. Maybe this is Jazz’s destiny, but we believe that this form of music would deserve much more attention.
Personally, we find in his Jazz Fusion vein a touch of crazy ingeniousness: the more he expands his horizons, the more he approaches to his own roots. And this is what makes his music special and his personal artist history an exciting journey.